Sunday, 10 June 2012

"Through a glass, darkly"

This is the title of a show just opened at our local Parabola Arts Centre - "a mixed-media exhibition of soulful work that speaks of mystery and struggle, peace, hope and love." Curated by Niki Whitfield, it brings together a handful of artists of contrasting styles, and runs in collaboration with a more overtly Christian art show at the nearby Christ Church Hub Gallery. I visited the Hub on Thursday evening: despite some interesting work, I found the juxtaposition of styles there unsatisfactory. At the Parabola however, a very different mood is created: in one room, Chris Hoggett's marvellous dream pictures opposite the burnished gold of Jake Lever's meditative hand works, and in the other Pam Crook's enigmatic reliefs alongside Claire Watson's very physical pottery - Niki has conjured up a degree of synergy that I haven't felt in a mixed exhibition for some long while.

Art presents itself as a gift for the photographer: less easy is it to find illustrations for experiences such as hearing, late at night, Angela Hewitt play Couperin, Rameau, Fauré - and Bach. I missed the live relay, but Listening Again I was mesmerised by the pieces Hewitt selected from this mainly - to me - unfamiliar genre. Catherine Bott's advocacy (as presenter) undoubtedly helped. You have four days left to catch it!

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